When video game character Lara Croft first debuted in Tomb Raider on the big screen nearly two decades ago, she was a daring, action-superwoman embodying a role reserved for men. Now, with the same feminist spirit, the reboot starring Alicia Vikander and opening worldwide this week, spins the usual action-adventure tale, but also dives into Croft’s beginnings, portraying a heroine with an emotional life and personal growth.
“We show this journey of Lara when she’s not the action hero ... and it’s a way of us still to root for her,” the 29-year-old Swede in her biggest role to date told Reuters Television.“You actually get to feel that’s she’s human, and she’s open to be vulnerable.” The franchise’s revival is based primarily on a 2013 iteration of the game, which takes place on the fictional lost island of Yamatai near Japan. Tomb Raider arrives at a time when Hollywood is putting more women in central roles in the macho blockbuster genre. It is also a bet Warner Bros. has placed on Vikander to be Hollywood’s next breakout female action star following the roaring success of little-known Israeli actress Gal Gadot in last year’s Wonder Woman. Vikander, who won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2016 for The Danish Girl, had yet to take on top billing in a blockbuster and is best known for her intense, emotionally dramatic performances. “I too had to overcome, like Lara, a lot of questioning,” Vikander said.“But it’s an adventure, and I was really intrigued to go on it.”